The popularity game doesn’t get left behind when we graduate from school. Instead, the stakes are even higher when you are climbing the corporate ladder. Popularity is widely believed to be an important factor in the advancement of careers and in most cases, it’s true. Those of us working in teams and departments know that group dynamics are important, and if you want to be successful – and love what you do – it’s always good to have colleagues on your side.

We share 5 tips on how to be popular at work.

1. Don’t go beyond the “friend zone”

People are going to be wary of someone who is over-friendly and tries too hard to be their best friend. They can see through false charms so be genuine in your interactions with others. It’s near impossible to like and be liked by everyone so the best way is to be your true self and you will find friendships that start naturally. If interaction with people you don’t like can’t be avoided, treat them civilly and professionally.

2. Genuinely offer help – where needed

A big part of being a popular team player at work comes from offering help when it’s needed. It’s nice to have an enthusiastic co-worker who’s always there for you. However, not everyone appreciates unsolicited help or advice. You may have your colleagues’ best interests at heart when you generously give them pointers about their tasks, but this can be mistaken as being nosy. If you see someone struggling with work, casually ask if they need help and only extend a helping hand if they say yes.

3. Stay positive

Positive reinforcement goes a long way, and you don’t have to leave it up to your boss to do it. Optimistic people tend to be more popular and an upbeat outlook can be contagious, helping to create an enthusiastic team. Being overly chipper at all the time can be annoying to some, but you’ll be an asset to your team if you can keep things light-hearted and pleasant during stressful periods.

4. Mind your own business

Spreading gossip about co-workers tends to put you in an unfavourable light, even to those whom you share gossip with. Don’t intrude on the personal matters of colleagues. If they do share anything personal with you, they should be assured that what they say is spoken in confidence and won’t make the rounds at the office.

5. Perform small acts of kindness

Thoughtful gestures in the workplace can go a long way to helping you love what you do. Something as simple as taking note of how each individual member of your team likes his or her coffee, or just bringing back goodies for the office when you go on a holiday can help to create a positive, team-focused environment. The trick here is not to overdo it. If you shower your co-workers with gifts or gestures too often, they will start questioning your agenda instead of being appreciative.

There are no hard and fast rules on how to be popular at work. Rules to success, such as working hard and smart, still applies here. Getting caught up in the popularity game and neglecting your work responsibilities is a sure-fire way to become disliked in the office. Be the best person you can be, share your energy and enthusiasm, and along with a job you love, you’ll naturally be well-liked in time to come.